Penn Receives Rockefeller Foundation Grant to Fund Fellowships to Rebuild New Orleans

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Media Contact:Michael Cowan | mcowan@rockfound.org | 347-302-3348
Media Contact:Valerie Piper | vpiper@design.upenn.edu | 312-953-6699
Media Contact:Jeanne Leong | jleong@pobox.upenn.edu | 215-573-8151June 18, 2007

PHILADELPHIA - The Center for Urban Redevelopment Excellence at University of Pennsylvania's School of Design has received a $2.2 million grant to fund fellowships to advance the redevelopment process in New Orleans.  Penn fellows will work as project managers and collaborate with the Department of Planning and Urban Studies at the University of New Orleans and local officials.  

"Our Penn community is proud that talented professionals from our School of Design's Center for Urban Redevelopment Excellence will be applying their knowledge, their energy, and their hearts to rebuilding New Orleans," Penn President Amy Gutmann said. "This project is a great example of how Penn engages with communities across the globe to drive progress and improve lives."

"The Rockefeller Foundation's New Orleans Fellowships will allow us to attract the best and brightest urban development professionals to New Orleans, so that the city can accelerate its recovery and rebuilding efforts," said Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation. "The need is great and the task complex. Recruiting top-notch talent will guarantee that the rebuilding efforts are undertaken with the highest degree of professionalism and urgency."

The Center expects to recruit 15 fellows for new jobs with participating organizations including for-profit and non-profit development organizations, government agencies, financial institutions investing in affordable and mixed-income housing and other firms directly involved in the redevelopment process.  The fellowship program will offer specialized classroom training, national site visits, and professional development and network-building activities to the fellows and other redevelopment professionals working in the New Orleans region.

"The Rockefeller Fellowships will be critically important in helping the city attract the necessary human capital to assist in New Orleans' recovery," said Edward Blakely, the Director of the city's Office of Recovery Management.

The fellowship application and program information can be downloaded at http://www.upenn.edu/curexpenn/application_rfrf.htm. The program aims to place all fellows by September 2007. Fellowship activities will be scheduled through March 2009.  Questions about the program should be sent to http://rockfell@design.upenn.edu.

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